preexisting duty rule

noun
pre·exist·ing duty rule

Legal Definition of preexisting duty rule 

: a common-law rule of contracts: a party's offer of a performance already required under an existing contract is insufficient consideration for modification of the contract

Note: This rule is not applicable to sales contracts in jurisdictions that have enacted the Uniform Commercial Code. It is also not applicable where there has been a rescission of the contract followed by a new contract.

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